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National Training Office May 26th, 2020
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Band Name or MeSH Term? A game based on the 2017 Medical Subject Headings

Posted in: News, PubMed

Seeing the Unseen Poster

Image from NLM collections

The 2017 MeSH terms have been revealed and among them are molecules, philosophies and vices. Some of us here at the NTO geek out more than a little about the annual list of added and redacted medical subject headings, and this year we’d like to share that geekery with a game we’re calling: Band Name or MeSH Term?

Band Name or MeSH Term? 2017 edition

Is the following a medical subject heading, a band or both? Answers after the jump

  1. Sexual Minorities
  2. Tetralogy of Fallot
  3. Anthrax
  4. Cancer
  5. Morgue
  6. Spinal Tap
  7. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  8. Morphine
  9. Wolfiporia

  1. Sexual Minorities –  New MeSH Term for 2017 – “Individuals including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, gender non-conforming people, and other populations whose sexual orientation or GENDER IDENTITY and reproductive development is considered outside cultural, societal, or physiological norms”
  2. Tetralogy of Fallot – MeSH term – A combination of congenital heart defects  In this condition, blood from both ventricles (oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor) is pumped into the body often causing cyanosis.
  3. Anthrax – MeSH term & American thrash metal band
  4. Cancer – British thrash metal band – Any medical librarian worth their salt will tell you that Cancer is mapped to the MeSH term NEOPLASMS 
  5. Morgue – New MeSH Term for 2017 AND Canadian metal band
  6. Spinal Tap – fictitious metal band. Spinal Tap maps to the MeSH Term Spinal Puncture
  7. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – MeSH term & defunct bluegrass group.
  8. Morphine – MeSH Term and a group who’s style was described as falling “between alternative rock and jazz, dubbed “low rock”
  9. Wolfiporia – New MeSH Term for 2017 – “A genus of wood-decaying, edible fungi in the Polyporaceae family. Its type species is Wolfiporia extensa.”

& now for some serious questions and answers

What happens when the 2017 MeSH terms come out?

The 2017 MeSH terms were announced in the NLM Technical Bulletin on November 1st, 2016 (link). They are not yet in PubMed’s MeSH database, but can be accessed from the MeSH Browser (a separate NLM database) via this link.

Where can I see a list of all the new 2017 MeSH terms?

There is copious documentation on which terms were added and modified on this page.

This PDF document provides a nice one-column list of all new terms,  listed in alphabetical order with Heading, Scope Note, Annotation, and Tree Locations, along with definitions.

When do the 2017 MeSH terms get added to PubMed?

On November 15, 2016 (that’s right, next week!) NLM will STOP pushing fully-indexed MEDLINE citations to PubMed for about a month. Articles are still indexed by NLM and new items with the tag “in process” and “as supplied by Publisher” are still added to PubMed during this time. Then, some time in mid-December, the normal MEDLINE/PubMed update schedule will resume, and PubMed will use 2017 vocabulary in the MeSH®translation tables and MeSH database, as well as in the citation data. This is called “Year End Processing.” Learn more about Year End Processing.

Why is this important?

A search limiting terms to fields affected by indexing (e.g., telemedicine [mh]) does not retrieve “in process” or publisher-supplied records. Using a field search during the Year End Processing will exclude the freshest results – this applies not only to PubMed, but also to saved searches stored in My NCBI and retrieved through RSS feeds.

What can I do to discover the freshest content during Year End Processing?

NLM recommends using searches that do not limit to affected fields – basically, a keyword search (e.g., telemedicine). You can still employ field-based search strategies, which will catch anything up to November 15, 2016.

BONUS QUIZ: Medical term or rockband?

Of course someone already made this game before us.

Developed resources reported in this site are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH.

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